Cricket South Africa chief executive officer Thabang Moroe has all but excused the Proteas’ Test series defeat by India this month.
The Proteas lost the first Test in Visakhapatnam by 203 runs and the second in Pune by an innings and 137 runs.
The tourists are without head coach Ottis Gibson, batting coach Dale Benkenstein, spin-bowling coach Claude Henderson and assistant coach Malibongwe Maketa, who were all removed after the World Cup in the United Kingdom earlier this year.
Interim team director Enoch Nkwe has since been hired alongside new bowling coach Vincent Barnes and others.
‘It was always going to be a difficult challenge taking on the top team in the world – certainly under their own conditions – in India at a time when we have introduced a new team structure,’ said Moroe.
The visitors also don’t have fast bowler Dale Steyn and veteran batsman Hashim Amla. Steyn’s Test career ended recently. He will remain available for ODI and T20I selection. Amla has retired from all international cricket.
‘In the past two years we have had to bid farewell to some of the great names of international cricket such as AB de Villiers, Hashim, Morne Morkel and Dale, who between them played nearly 450 Test matches for the Proteas. You don’t replace that kind of experience overnight and we need to give a new generation time to settle,’ added Moroe.
The current Test squad sports the inexperienced Anrich Nortje and Zubayr Hamza – and the uncapped Heinrich Klaasen and George Linde. The latter was a late addition to replace the injured Keshav Maharaj.
‘These are, in fact, exciting times for South African cricket with new names and faces coming to the fore. Our talent pipeline has produced the likes of Aiden Markram, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Zubayr over the last few years and our development systems are clearly in good shape,’ concluded Moroe.
The third and final Test will start in Ranchi on Saturday.
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